James 4:11–12 (ESV)
Warning Against Worldliness (Part 2)
11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one
lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
The 8th Commandment states “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
But what if what you say is true??? Luther teaches us in the Small Catechism: “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, or slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and
explain everything in the kindest way.” I often hear people questioning the Small Catechism and saying the 8th Commandment says not to bear false witness, but it never says that we have to be nice! Well, you must take all of the scriptures
as a whole. Today’s reading fits hand in hand with Luther’s explanation to the 8th Commandment. “Do not speak evil against one another.” I remember being told that “if you don’t have anything nice to say
about someone, don’t say anything at all.” I have come under attack from a couple of people for this statement, but I’m sticking with what Luther wrote, because it is scriptural! Remember that gossip, slandering, and speaking
evil of someone is a sin. Repent and take it to the cross.
I pray: O Lord, help me to honor the 8th Commandment and not use my tongue for destruction, but to tell the truth and to not speak
evil. Help me to speak kindly about others and to not gossip. Forgive me when my tongue leads me astray, for it is more than the tongue... it is a heart condition. Forgive me, Lord. Amen.